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BYU Column: ‘Builders of Memories’: BYU alumni celebrate new Beckham lodge

Brigham Young University’s Aspen Grove has a new lodge to accommodate the mountain retreat’s many visitors.

Christened after the driving force behind Aspen Grove’s creation, the late Ray Beckham, the lodge can host more than 200 guests attending Aspen Grove’s many programs (family camp, marriage retreats, family getaways).

Beckham’s widow, Janette H. Beckham, cut the ceremonial blue ribbon to open the lodge on Friday, Feb. 2 and shared memories of the camp’s development and growth, including a “watermelon bust” to mark the opening of the camp’s swimming pool.

BYU’s Advancement Vice President Matthew O. Richardson also paid tribute to Beckham’s legacy. Focusing on Janette’s theme of memories, Richardson called Aspen Grove’s creators, donors and employees “Builders of memories ... they’re creating an environment where we can be inspired, aspire to more and be able to change for good. That’s what Aspen Grove should be.”

Aspen Grove — a history of preserving family memories

Ray Beckham, as part of the BYU Alumni Association, envisioned and created the original Aspen Grove facility. In its first season, 1963, eight families attended Aspen Grove. Today, the mountain retreat operates year-round and serves an average of 80 families each week and hosts over 20,000 guests each year.

The new, 22,000-square-foot, three-story lodge replaces some of the aging cabins at BYU’s Aspen Grove and includes a mix of room sizes and accommodations for families and guests. Regular rooms sleep up to seven people (in two-bedroom suites), and small rooms are designed for up to three people. Each floor boasts a common kitchen area with an adjacent gathering space with a fireplace. The new part of Beckham Lodge can accommodate up to 216 guests and will be used for families attending Aspen Grove’s signature programs (Family Camp, Marriage Getaway, Family Getaway), single families and large reunions, conferences, and holiday gatherings over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Each year, more than 80 students help staff Aspen Grove. They use this work-study experience to enhance their education at BYU – and it also helps them pay their way through school. Hundreds of students have made Aspen Grove a part of their BYU experience. Rachel Hansen is one of them.

“I love the environment (at Aspen Grove), interacting with the full-time staff, summer staff, and guests,” she said. “I was trusted and given extra responsibilities to help me become a better leader.”

Emley Holcombe, another student team member at Aspen Grove, said, “I gained amazing skills that definitely have application for my education and my future.”

Looking ahead, the team at Aspen Grove plans to upgrade and update some of the historic cabins, grounds, and facilities to provide the best possible guest experience for everyone who comes to the mountain retreat.

For more information, or to check on available reservations, visit http://AspenGrove.byu.edu.

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